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Piedmont - Locanda del Boscogrande


piedmont_phil
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This was our first visit to Locanda del Boscogrande as it is located a little west of our usual haunts, but new friends have moved nearby so we decided to try. Here are our impressions.

Impresive building and grounds located on top of a hill above Montegrosso d'Asti the restaurant seats about 40 and was full when our party of 6 arrived last Saturday night and we were glad we had reserved. Seating is such that it did not feel crowded or noisy.

As is typical the only menu was the extensive wine list (we chose an Urscheler cortese alto monferrato and Chiarlo's "la court" barbera d'asti 2001), and the chef/owner came to the table to detail the nights offerings. Some English is spoken, but did not run to detailed explanations of the dishes so some dining Italian is recommended. One of party was vegetarian, which was easily communicated and presented no problems. My choices -

Veal in tuna sauce - regional speciality and this was an excellent example, thinly sliced melt in the mouth veal and perfect consistency sauce matched the crisp fruity cortese perfectly.

Gnocci - I don't know how they made it so light, but this was not the stodgy, filling dish that one sometimes gets, delecate flavour and consistency and a serving size that was just right and leaving me looking forwards to the secondo...

Chingalli - again speciality of the area I love wild boar and this was a tender and succulent example, the strong flavours complimented by the rich barbera d'asti superiore.

Torone semi-fredo - cleansed the pallet and excited my sweet tooth all in one, I love this desert.

Throughout the meal there was much sharing of dishes and exclamations of pleasure (but I have forgotten the detail of all the dishes), so I can report that everything was received well. Service was excellent (often not the case in Piedmont when a retaurant gets busy) but unobtrusive. Ambience was good but we thought the room a little modern for the context of Piemonte countryside.

Highly recommended, a little off the beaten path so check directions carefully.

Phil

visit our vineyard in Italy - Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana

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Ah, sorry forgot prices.  For all six of us including the wine - Euro 200.  We thought this an absolute bargain.

I'm a liitle confused. Let's assume the wine (only two bottles for six?) cost 45 E, and I'm probably underestimating somewhat because of the Le Court. That would leave 155 for six people or 26E per person. L'Espresso lists the average price at 40E; GR at 36E. Did some people not eat?

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Price question - I kid you not! We were very happy with the price - it is possible we paid in cash and received a "discount" - not uncommon for those of you who know Piedmont... I seem to recall we had two bottles of La Courte, so approx €55 of wine (I wonder if they failed to add the 2nd red) - but no we all ate - and expected to pay the GR average. The one vegetarian may have reduced the price slightly...

Phil

visit our vineyard in Italy - Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana

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Phil,

a suprisingly low price, cash or not, as the Terre d'Asti guide gives a fixed dinner cost of 40 euro per head, did everyone eat the full dinner, or some only take antipasti?

Your description sounds quite typical Piedmontese restaurant fare, was anything especially outstanding? How would you compare with "Non Solo Crudo"? nearby?

Fortedei, as you probably know, in Piedmont you don't pay sky high prices for good Barbera (but you do for Barolo alas) so 55 euro doesn't sound out of the ordinary for 2 bottles of Chiarlo L Court and a bottle or 2 of Cortese. On a personal opinion aside, I find La Court over-oaked for my taste, but that's common of "big" name cantina's.

Hi Pedalforte, you popped up before I posted this, Locanda Del Boscogrande is right off the main road between Asti (after Isola d'Asti) and Nizza M. How are things? I have been off the forums for a while.

Ciao and saluti a tutti

Too many restaurants in Piedmont, too little time in life

Villa Sampaguita

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Hi Pedalforte, you popped up before I posted this, Locanda Del Boscogrande is right off the main road between Asti (after Isola d'Asti) and Nizza M. How are things? I have been off the forums for a while.

Ciao and saluti a tutti

All is well. Yes, we missed you here and elsewhere. I had a barbera last night (something called, maybe, Three Sisters, or something to that effect) and thought of you guys.

Thanks for the geographical note about this restaurant. I found it after you detailed its location.

We're looking forward to our visit. It's seeming more and more distant as work weighs in, but I do know that the trip is coming up. By the way, I hope it is all right that we have grown in number by one: we now are five, and we now want to stay five nights (Nov. 21, 22, 23, 24, 25). OK? I told my friend that her price of joining the group is bringing one bottle of mighty California zinfandel -- her wine of choice (among others).

My wife was ordering our new chickens for the season last night. And we had a rough week in that our dear young dog, Phoebe, came up with a sudden case of pancreatic and liver cancer and had to be euthanized. Probably too much information for a light chat group exchange, but it is on my mind. She was our only "healthy" animal; our three cats and one other dog are all old and a bit rickety already. Ah, the tradeoffs for years of loving friendships --those final days that tear one's soul apart.

But I'm not always so depressing! Cheers. Be well and enjoy the off season before all those tourists show. Wait, that's me!

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Hi Sampi - yes we all ate every course (note the vegetarian, who may not have been charged for her mixed grilled veg "secondo"). I agree it sounds "standard" for round here, but it was all excellent and worthy of praise.

How does it compare with our good friends Ivana and Caren at Non-Solo, well not as good, nor as ambient, but no where near the price, so worth ading to the good places to check out list.

Phil

visit our vineyard in Italy - Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana

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